Panther Writer

App review by
ADK AccessAbility, Common Sense Media
Panther Writer App Poster Image
Powerful and customizable keyboard tool fits kids' needs.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids will learn that writing independently is not only possible but easier than they had thought it could be. If they struggle with paper and pencil, kids can turn to a keyboard that works for their needs and begin getting comfortable using it to express themselves. They can create original writing and communicate it via Facebook and/or email to work successfully with teachers, family, and friends. Panther Writer lets kids work beyond barriers by offering a wide variety of keyboards and typing and writing alternatives.

Ease of Play

The Panther Writer interface is very intuitive, and there's lots of support. Some trial and error will help optimize each keyboard.

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What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Panther Writer is a very powerful yet intuitive keyboard-based writing tool for kids who may not be best-served by the standard QWERTY keyboard. Kids will explore all four writing keyboards, access methods and other options, and select those that work most efficiently for them. They can then be further customized to their specific needs and abilities, and many kids with limited mobility or issues with fine motor control or cognition will find writing easier than ever before.

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What's it about?

Panther has rethought writing and developed four customizable keyboards to provide access to individuals who cannot or choose not to work with the QWERTY default. Each can be further customized to integrate as closely as possible the typist's abilities and goals. They can be used by touching with a finger, toe, hand, or mouth stick and can be used with dwell time so the typist never needs to leave the keyboard but can simply slide from one letter to another. The basic Plus Keyboard has options for variable dwell times, word prediction, one-touch editing functions, one-touch file management, and the ability to email and post to Facebook. Letter organization can be QWERTY or it can be changed to ABC or to an "Efficiency" layout with all the most frequently used letters and combinations grouped for easy and quick reach. Tom's Keyboard has similar features but is designed for individuals who need bigger keys. The Mini-Touch Keyboard is a single compact keyboard that lets you hit keys by tapping them or by keeping a finger on top of them and using hold times. The Vertical Fall Keyboard has vertically stacked columns of letters and function keys, which you choose by sliding a finger along the base of the iPad. 

Is it any good?

PANTHER WRITER is full of innovative access options. It's simple, intuitive, and very powerful and is one of most affordable access tools available for kids with a variety of special needs from autism to cerebral palsy. Although it takes a little trial and error to set up the ideal keyboard for your kid, it's worth it. Panther Writer is a unique tool and must be tried to be appreciated.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about different ways to express thoughts and ideas. Talk to your kids about finding ways that work best for them.

  • Explore the keyboards with your children, help them try options, and customize the options to their needs.

  • Guide your children as they complete homework assignments, emails, and Facebook posts.

App details

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